Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weigh in - back in the 230s

Last Week's weight - 243.2

This Week's weight - 239.8

3.4 lbs LOST

89.6 lbs lost since June 2010

This is definitely the right direction. I made a meal plan last Sunday and stuck to it. The only thing that could have been better is last night I indulged a little when we had friends over at the house. Nothing too bad, just generally ate a little too much (homemade flatbread pizzas) and drank a little too much (vodka and sprite zero).

I'm not going to get ahead of myself and call this me being back on track because lets be honest, I've been here before and have screwed it up. But it is nice to see the 230's again!

This week my goal is the rinse and repeat my good food choices from last week and to figure out a training plan for completing a sprint triathlon this summer.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Answering reader's questions: What I Eat

When I posted this easy black bean soup recipe earlier this week, someone posted a comment asking about my nutrition habits. Maybe I should be more skeptical on talking about this on the blog since nutrition is such a personal thing for every individual and everyone has different schools of thought surrounding what is "right," but I felt like since I haven't talked about it too much, I should shed a little light on what goes on in my world of food.
From Anonymous:
Do you count calories? If you so how many do you eat a day? Do you eat 3 main meals or 5-6 small meals?
Yes, I count calories. And I track my food at Over the last 4-6 months I haven't tracked very much, but I am trying to get back into the habit because of my 3 month plateau. I am a firm believer that tracking your food intake in some way is essential for good, solid weight loss. I lost most of my weight when I was tracking my food every day.

Sure, it sucks to have to try and figure out every single thing you eat and put it into some website or app, but it is so important not only because it is so easy to "forget" about that cookie you had at lunch and go for the cheeseburger at dinner. In other words, it keeps you accountable - even if you are the only one looking at it. Here are 3 keys to food tracking:

  1. Track every bite, lick and taste (I may have stolen this from my WW friends, sue me)
  2. Estimate to the BEST of your ability. Obviously if you are eating food you haven't prepared, you have to use your best judgement and track to your best guesstimate.
  3. Be honest with yourself. Did you really only have 1 oz of chips or did you sneak a few more as you were putting the bag away? I know it may not seem like a big deal at the time, but if you do that 3-4 times through out the day the calories can really add up.
As for the amount of calories that I eat per day, I try to stay within a range. I try to stay between 1600-1900, but my sweet spot is really around 1,800. My BMR is around 2,100 so if I eat a little over my 1,900 goal I try not to freak out because I usually exercise enough in a week to counteract it. Of course, if I do this multiple times a week, I'm not going to lose any weight.

I've never been a person that could eat 1,200 calories a day. My body would never let me get away with that. I don't starve myself (and probably couldn't even if I tried - not enough willpower). If I am legitimately hungry, I eat. Of course, I try to have a lot of sensible snacks (almonds, fruit, veggies) on hand so if I do get hungry I don't blow my day.

My typical Monday - Friday day consists of 3 main meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and 2 snacks. I try to spread my calories out throughout the day, but I do typically eat less for breakfast (~400 calories) and more for dinner (~600). Here is approximately what I ate today.

Breakfast (320 calories)
1/2 cup oats with 1/2 cup (soy) milk, 1 small apple chopped and 2 tablespoons of sliced almonds

Lunch (580 calories)
Black bean soup with 1/4 avacado and 1 oz tortilla chips, 1 small apple and fiber one peanut butter granola bar (which was so uneeded)

Dinner (490 calories)
Wrap with 4 oz slow cooker buffalo chicken, 1 tablespoon shredded cheese, lettuce and pickles with 5-6 carrots and sweet potato oven "fries" (1 sweet potato)

Snack 1: banana (approx 3 hours after breakfast) - 100 calories
Snack 2: Plain Greek Yogurt with 2 teaspoons honey (varies; either 4 hours after lunch or 1 hour before I go work out) - 150 calories
Snack 3: ~10 almonds (work as been crazy so I've been eating lunch at 6:30 a instead of 8, so I was extra hungry before lunch) - 70 calories

1710 calories total for the day

What I haven't been good about is following this same schedule on the weekends. On Saturdays my schedule is different because I usually go for a long run and eat a larger than normal breakfast or for certain distances I eat two "breakfasts" (smaller one before, more substantial one after). I'm learning not only do I have to plan my meals Mon-Fri to be successful, but Friday night through the weekend too.

Overall, I basically eat what I want in moderation. I strive to have balanced meals with a lean protien, a complex carb and plenty of green veggies. I have found that staying away from sugar helps my cravings substantially, so I save sweets for true "on occasions" and I try to not get into the habit of saying "it's just one piece of cake" all the time.

I don't think anything I do is rocket science. It's really just as simple as calories in vs. calories out. Of course the mental aspect is much more difficult than the science of it.

If you have a question about what I do or the habits I've developed to loose almost 100 lbs, feel free to leave a comment and maybe I'll write a post about it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Easiest Black Bean Soup Ever

In an attempt to really get my head on straight nutrition wise, I did a lot of pre-cooking this weekend. I knew after working 12 hour days this week I wouldn't feel like cooking anything when I got home.

On top of cooking both Friday and Saturday nights so I'd have left overs, Sunday afternoon I made shredded buffalo chicken in the crock pot and big ol' pot of black bean soup.

I really just made this up after taking a survey of what I had on hand (or was easy to pick up).

1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cans (64 ounces) Black Beans
1 can (10 ounces) Mild Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies (I used two cans to make it extra tomato-y)
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp hot pepper seasoning or chili powder
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1 lime, juiced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1. Add olive oil, onion and garlic to dutch oven, saute until onion is translucent. About 5 minutes.

2. Add black beans, tomatoes and chicken stock to pan, stir thoroughly.

3. Add cumin, chili or hot pepper seasonings, hot sauce, and juice of lime. Stir to combine.

4. Bring to boil, then turn heat to simmer for 30 minutes.

5. Serve topped with your choice of reduced fat sour cream, 2% shredded cheddar cheese or tortilla chips.

Makes eight 1 2/3 cup servings.

My favorite part is it is so low in calories! This, with a dollop of sour cream, and a small apple makes lunch!

Or 1 cup with a wrap made out of the buffalo chicken makes dinner. I'll have to post the buffalo chicken recipe next. You'll laugh, it's so easy.

Seriously, what's better than an easy, Delicious meal?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Weigh in - another ride on the rollercoaster

Last Week's weight - 240.6

This Week's weight - 243.2

2.6 lbs GAINED

86.2 lbs lost since June 2010

Roller coaster. Do you know I've been in the low 240s since OCTOBER?! October! That, my friends, is CA-RA-ZY!

The good news is I've basically maintained since October. The bad news is, well, I haven't lost any weight in over 3 months! I wanted to be in the 220s by the Disney race, did I do it? No!

In my mind, I want to be at a healthy weight and done with the weight loss process by June. My 2 year blog-aversary. But even that seems like a stretch in what's possible unless I get my head on straight.

I'm struggling with getting my head on straight though. And why?

Because I have a insatiable hunger?


Because there is left over pizza at work almost every single day?


Because I can't keep away from sugar and sweets?

Get real!

Because I work 50+ hours a week?

So what?!

None of these are things I haven't overcome in the past, so I know I can do it again if I take it one day at a time. My goal this week is simply to not cave into the left over food around the office and to bring my lunch + healthy snacks every day. No eating out, no going for the pizza box.

I know, I know. I've said all this before. I've been a broken record the last 3 months. So, I'll let you know how it goes next Sunday.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Finally.....2012 Disney World Half Marathon Recap

What a terrible blogger I am...I have barely written anything in weeks and I've been saying for two weeks that I would recap the Disney World half marathon. I'm going to try to keep it short and sweet with just posting some pictures and captions.

The two days before the race we spent walking around Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios - I thought my feet were going to be toast for the race, but we left the parks early on Friday afternoon and had a low key dinner at the hotel. I think I was asleep by 8:30 the night before the race!

My race bib

THEN - We woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 2:30 AM - yes, you read that right - Two-freaking-thirty in the MORNING. The race started at 5:30. Painful.

On the shuttle to the race

The shuttle dropped us off, we porta-pottied, Vaselined (me), posed, and hydrated.

Pre-race picture

After using the porta-potties twice (nervous peeing), we hearded ourselves to the start line. It was about a half mile walk that took the better part of 20 minutes. It was kind of annoying, but at least we had given ourselves plenty of time! We still had over an hour before our corral started by this point.

Hearding the

Finally at the start line - they had the corrals so spread out from the actual start line - they had big screens to show the back what was going up at the start line. Crazy!

This guy was in full Jack Sparrow garb. How was he going to run in that? I'm still wondering...

Then we were off! They actually do full fireworks when the first corral takes off - pretty cool!

The race starts out on the streets around Epcot and heads in the direction of Magic Kingdom. It wasn't even daylight out before we entered the gates outside the parking lot of Magic Kingdom!

Can you find the little vegan aka Sarah?

It was pretty much awesome running through Magic Kingdom and right under the Castle (where we had dinner, two nights before). Then as you exit from the Castle, they have professional photographers ready to take your photo.

All business...

After exiting Magic Kingdom you follow the streets back toward Epcot. This is about mile 11 or 12 as we're making our way towards Epcot.

You run about a mile through Epcot (maybe a little less), then you exit back into the parking lot. I made the girls stop and take a picture at mile 13 :)

Right before we crossed the finish line...

The coolest medal ever - even cooler than Mercedes!

They gave us special buttons the next day at the Polynesian :)

We finished!

Official time: 3:33:45 - an 11 minute PR

As expected the race - and the trip - were amazing! Maybe it was the magic of Disney. Or spending 5 days with great friends watching them crush their first half marathon, but I seriously had so much fun that I would consider making this an annual trip. Even though we walked about 20 miles Wed-Fri, I felt strong pretty much the whole race. True, my feet hurt really bad the last 1-2 miles, but compared to my other half it was nothing. I didn't feel like I trained very hard for this race, but it proved me wrong. I was more than ready. So ready, in fact, I'm considering doing the Nashville Rock n Roll race in April. JUST far.

I also caught myself thinking about a marathon while I was racing two weeks ago. I thought to myself, "Disney is the ONLY place I would consider doing a marathon." Then I quickly realized that I have never had any desire to do a marathon up until this point. Scary.

Of course since the race I've only ran laziness is ensuing. I'm going to try and do 6 this weekend. It may be rough...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Weigh in - First weigh in of 2012

12/31/11 weight - 243.0

This Week's weight - 240.6

2.4 lbs lost

88.8 lbs lost since June 2010

I didn't weigh in last week due to still being in Orlando. The trip was wonderful and the race was the most fun one to date. I promise to write about goal is to post it tomorrow. I just haven't felt like picking up my laptop lately.

Going back to work on Tuesday was a harsh reality, as I knew it would be. And the next two weeks at work will be hell at their best.

I have a lot of goals and ideas swimming around in my head and I just need to focus enough to publicly state them and get started on them. Oh, that will have to come at a later date because I'm too busy doing nothing but laying in bed and reading the Hunger Games series this weekend.

But hey, first weigh in of 2012 is a to a good start, I'd say!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

We Finished - Disney World Half Marathon!

Just a quick post to happily say we all finished the Disney World Half Marathon yesterday! A full update when I get back to life on Tuesday - for now here's our finishing picture.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hello from Disney World!

We landed in Orlando yesterday and hit Magic Kingdom hard today. Here are some times today I forgot I have to run 13.1 miles on sat.

So. Tired.

Monday, January 2, 2012

11 Things in 2011....

Life has been crazy and in the next 48 hours it's only going to get crazier since I leave at 7 AM on Wednesday for Orlando and the Disney World Half Marathon!

Since time is limited you get the truncated version of my 2011 recap. Sure, there were not so great things about 2011. I was a yo-yo in the weight loss department, my mom had brain surgery, and plenty of other BS stuff that went on behind the scenes. But I survived and I am well. So let's focus on the positives. Below are POSITIVE things I can say I am proud of from 2011.

1. On January 2, 2011 I weighed in at 295.4...on December 31, 2011 I weighed in at 243.0 for a total loss of 52.4 lbs and a 17.7 percentage of weight loss in 2011.

2. I completed my 2nd half marathon and beat my first half marathon time by approximately 44 minutes.

3. I took on a new position at work.

4. I rode a bike after 15 years. And then got one of my very own.

5. I learned to run with the help of #5Kin100days.

6. I overcame fears.

7. I learned to not be so modest.

8. There was a reason added to why I do this.

9. I became a Warrior.

10. Trained to run another half marathon (my 3rd one, first one running)

11. I took the best photo of 2011.